My writing, NaPoWriMo, Poetry, Writing

NaPoWriMo Day 3 -Brian

Brian "Watch our Brian," our ma shouted from the kitchen, elbow deep in peelings. "No bother" I called, plumping down my bag and coat. But when I made a mug of tea, he'd slipped away for a wee dander on the street. I let him have his play, Not wanting to bother our ma. "Your… Continue reading NaPoWriMo Day 3 -Brian

My writing, NaPoWriMo, Poetry, Writing

NaPoWriMo Day 2 -Rosemary

Rosemary It's the thirteenth today; touch wood. So long I've waited, and it has to be this day? Still, I'm doing what I longed for this last three years. But here's me, crouched in a toilet, fiddling with wires, and I'm to be a teacher! But the cause is right, and casualties regrettable. Touch wood.… Continue reading NaPoWriMo Day 2 -Rosemary

My writing, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

NaPoWriMo Day 1 – Linda

Linda Her da would sing to her; two years gone now, but loyalty, that widow maker, lingers. His name, etched in stone and statistics troubles her. So she gives it a shot, puts on the serge green, walks the beat; patrols her home town, still a teen. Green, she sticks her neck out, and the song… Continue reading NaPoWriMo Day 1 – Linda

Murals, Belfast, 2016
My writing, NaPoWriMo, Poetry, Writing

NaPoWriMo 2019 – 30 Poems in 30 Days

I've previously written about my failed experiment with NaNoWriMo and why writing a 50,000 word novel to order in 30 days wasn't for me. And yet, in a moment of madness and inspiration (I've just discovered Northern Irish poet John Hewitt), I've made a commitment to write a poem a day for the 30 days of April… Continue reading NaPoWriMo 2019 – 30 Poems in 30 Days

Helen's Bay, County Down, Northern Ireland
Poem of the Month, Poetry

Poem of the Month -Neither an Elegy Nor a Manifesto, by John Hewitt

I've just discovered the poetry of Belfast-born writer John Hewitt, which is a shocking oversight for someone writing a novel based in Belfast during the Troubles.  But then his name is somewhat overshadowed by those other dazzling Northern Irish luminaries:  Seamus Heaney, Louis MacNeice, CS Lewis and Frank Ormsby. I read the poem below and… Continue reading Poem of the Month -Neither an Elegy Nor a Manifesto, by John Hewitt

Poem of the Month, Poetry

Poem of The Month – Naming of Parts, by Henry Reed

This month's poem of the month came to me during a work meeting recently; it was a somewhat attenuated review of some annual targets, and the use of jargon and corporate buzz words led my gaze to fall from the screen and out of the window to the street below. Students from the nearby university… Continue reading Poem of The Month – Naming of Parts, by Henry Reed

Poem of the Month, Poetry

Poem of the Month – The Journey, by Mary Oliver

I've just created this new regular feature for 2019, after re-reading some of my favourite poems; it occurred to me that I'd discovered many of them by browsing around online on all sorts of sites, literary and otherwise. Some of these poems have become touchstones in my life,  and I revisit them regularly to refresh… Continue reading Poem of the Month – The Journey, by Mary Oliver

My writing, Poetry, Writing

Office Trim

I wrote this several years ago; the idea came to me during a particularly uncomfortable meeting with a contractor. I keep changing my mind with regards to the title; sometimes it's "Six Degrees of Freedom". We meet to discuss resources, not people. Outsourcing, insourcing, TUPEs And how many FTEs We need, and how many are superfluous; We must trim our budgets and our manpower, our undertakings. But it’s ok; they’re only contractors, and road diggers at that. We roll with it. We don’t discuss names but Full-time equivalents Each FTE is a person, each team is two, And a gang is not as it sounds, A menacing mass of uncomprehending brawn, but Four living emissaries, who toil to shift the earth and uncover the cables Whose surge we all live and die by And as we talk, and look at charts And calculate how many people to discard, My eyes swaying, I notice the room divider. Teak veneer, with a trim at each end to hide the workings Of the sliding thing which can increase room volume productivity, Cleave its capacity, double its output.… Continue reading Office Trim

Poetry, Writing

Commission (Ezra Pound)

Not my poem, alas, but one that I wanted to feature here; it's always relevant for the poet, the writer, the artist. Go, my songs, to the lonely and the unsatisfied, Go also to the nerve-racked, go to the enslaved-by-convention, Bear to them my contempt for their oppressors. Go as a great wave of cool… Continue reading Commission (Ezra Pound)

Poetry, Writing

Hold The Front Page

I wrote (borrowed? appropriated?) this in 1999, using headlines taken from the 28th May 1999 papers;  I'm going to write a followup this May, as an interesting exercise in observing what has changed in 17 years, and what remains the same in absorbing us, news-wise. Tragedy of babies born into A BUS SHELTER CALLED HOME Ferguson’s £12million spending limit Upsets the Deaf War crimes move The start of the weekend SORRY SOPHIE We never meant to cause you distress Topless photo was a mistake – Two heads four legs and sex appeal!!! Ban on Viagra to cost millions… Continue reading Hold The Front Page